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Google and MSN to go head to head?

Microsoft, the software giant recently launched a new search program called MSNBot, which scours the Web to build an index of HTML links and documents.

The service replaces that which was preciously syndicated out to Inktomi and may pose a significant threat to Google if Microsoft fulfills its promise to make the program a cornerstone of its overall PC and services strategies.

Microsoft could then connect the search engine to new file technology planned for the next version of Windows, (code-named Longhorn), which will make it easier to search e-mail, spreadsheets and documents on PCs, corporate networks and the Web. The result would be a powerful technology reaching from the desktop to the greater Internet that could displace Google as the Web's leading search engine.

Microsoft may use familiar tactics in the search market, most notably by integrating and distributing the technology throughout its many products and services.

Stirring up search

Microsoft's target will likely be to create little perceived difference between Web search and local search.

Google may have to make some serious decisions to avoid a fate similar to that suffered by other Microsoft victims. Pressure from Microsoft pushed browser maker Netscape to the Web portal market, for instance.


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